June 14 – 25 2022

SAUDADE: “A pleasure you suffer, an ailment you enjoy” (Manuel de Melo)

Yearning is a self-canceling double move. It is a desire that extends forward only by calling back the past, a longing and searching that is shot through with passivity and even fatalism. The result is a tugging in time; an indefinite in-between-ness, where the present appears as either always dissolving—the future merely passing through en route to the past—or as all-there-is, everything at standstill. One who is in a state of yearning is constitutionally unable to occupy the present yet feels hopelessly moored to it.

The Portuguese word for this feeling of wistful and wishful longing is saudade: a nostalgic awaiting for those people, places, memories lost to the past. It is a part of the lore of saudade that the concept is closely tied to the phenomenology of port cities and the Portuguese’s long-troubled relationship to voyages on the sea. Coco is herself from a port city just beyond the other side of the Iberian peninsula, Marseilles, an ancient Mediterranean city with roots that trace back to the Greeks. And she wears its influence openly on the canvas. Seaports are places of ceaseless transit, but the unremitting epicycles of loading, unloading, docking, departing can induce feelings of stagnation, even a dizzying ennui.

Restlessness turned listlessness. What lies on the other side? Two answers: Time hastes for no one. Nothing may outpace its telling. We keep in stride, indeed we must, as we are pulled along its side.

Or, perhaps not. Here, an alternative possibility: we escape our suspension in time through an act of creation.

– Lily Hu

Coco Young was born in 1989 in New York, New York and raised in Marseille, France. She received a BA in Art History and a MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University in New York, New York.

Young's recent solo and group exhibitions include "Magic Mountain" at Jack Hanley Gallery in New York, New York (2022); "TWO MOONS" at And Now in Dallas, Texas (2021); "Shining in the low tide" at Unclebrother in Hancock, New York (2021); "Domino" at Shoot the Lobster in New York, New York (2021); "Veritas" at Princess in New York, New York (2019); "Horology" curated by Elizabeth Jaeger at Jack Hanley Gallery in New York, New York (2019); "Hysterisis" at Downs & Ross in New York, New York (2019); "A Scratch in Time" at Thierry Goldberg Gallery in New York, New York (2018); "Beautiful Distress" at De School in Amsterdam, Netherlands (2017); "Ways of Seeing, Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016" curated by Chrissie Iles at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York, New York (2016); and "Nadja" at Interstate Projects Non-Profit in Brooklyn, New York (2016).

Coco Young lives and works in New York, New York.